Amazon customers are furious that some holiday orders are delayed - and it reveals a glaring limitation of Prime membership

amazon warehouse

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The sheer volume of product purchased on Amazon over Thanksgiving weekend has led to some delays.

  • Some Amazon Prime members are voicing frustrations that their orders are not shipping immediately. 
  • Prime benefits entitle members to two-day shipping, but the time it takes for packages to ship can vary.
  • This misunderstanding has led to some blowback from customers, as the sheer volume of orders has meant that some packages are not shipping as quickly as they used to. 


This holiday season, some Amazon customers are learning the limits of their Prime benefits firsthand.

Many are complaining to the company on Twitter that their orders are taking too long to ship during the holiday crunch, and they're questioning why their two-day shipping benefit - a plus of being a Prime member - isn't seeming to help.

Amazon's customer service Twitter account, @AmazonHelp, has made a litany of replies to angry customers who are questioning why their shipments are taking so long.

The account's typical response is to point to the terms of the benefits that Prime shipping actually entails. Amazon only guarantees that the package, once it is shipped, will arrive at your doorstep in two days of transit.

That's causing some confusion for customers. Most items customers are buying on Amazon are in stock at the time of ordering, so they ship immediately and arrive in two days. But the sheer volume of product purchased on Amazon over Thanksgiving weekend has understandably put some items out of stock.

In a statement to Business Insider, an Amazon representative said: "We have added capacity in our supply chain to ensure we're able to serve Amazon customers this holiday season, and we always work very closely with our delivery partners and are confident in their ability to deliver for customers."

Amazon has had a monster holiday already and is set to capture about half of all online shopping sales through the season, according to analysts, so it's understandable if some products are in logistical limbo.

Amazon does explicitly say when an item will ship on its product pages. It's likely that Prime members aren't paying attention or noticing the warnings, as they could just be assuming that they will get the item in two days like usual.

This consistency and trust from consumers is Amazon's bread and butter. Prime members, especially, cite the speed of convenience that stems from these Prime benefits. If the company can't deliver that same experience, some customers might think differently about relying on the e-commerce giant for their holiday shopping.

The 85 million Prime members are also very important to Amazon, as they spend an average of 20% more on Amazon than other customers. Keeping them happy is a top priority for the company.